The word "poacher" evokes strong emotions from people in many walks of life. Urban romantics see the poacher as the Robin Hood of the countryside, but gamekeepers loathe him. Without poachers, however, there would be fewer gamekeepers, and so the two callings are inextricably linked.;Taking a close look at the world of the old poachers, this book presents a variety of colourful yarns of their activities in bygone days. The long netters, gate netters, hare snarers, fish snatchers, night shooters and old trail netters here rub shoulders - a strange, lawless band of ragged individuals, some of them better versed in the ways of fish and fowl than the keeper himself. Few of them gained riches from their activities, but they all had a compelling urge to follow a precarious and risky calling. As a last resort they brawled with keepers, sometimes winning, more often losing, and in the early days they were transported or imprisoned for taking a hare.;The modern, large-scale poaching gang which poisons rivers, strips covers and is ready to commit murder rather than risk capture has no place in this book. It is nostalgically dedicated to the rural character of a century ago.